Perspectives: Are Recent Pharma Concessions One-Off Victories When Systematic Change Is Needed?
Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
Changes To Drug Prices: Gestures And Real Policy Shifts
List prices of prescription drugs continue to rise, albeit at a much slower pace than several years ago. Most of the increase in drug prices and patient cost-sharing (often in the form of co-insurance or a percentage off of list prices) is attributed to specialty pharmaceuticals.Rebates, as inferred approximately from gross to net difference in sales figures, are also increasing. Drug companies say that the rebate growth rate has outstripped list prices. Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) assert that through rebates they’re stemming increases in premiums. But, what do end-users see? The insured are faced with ever-rising premiums and cost-sharing. And, without negotiating clout the growing ranks of uninsured pay the full retail price of prescription drugs. (Joshua Cohen, 8/7)
Compulsory Pharmaceutical Licensing Is Little More Than Government Theft
On July 25, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) introduced H.R. 6505, The Medicare Negotiation and Competitive Licensing Act. The bill currently has 82 cosponsors, all Democrats. A press release announcing the legislation used Orwellian “1984” word-smithing, calling it “A bold approach to Medicare negotiation that harnesses the government’s purchasing power and relies on market-driven competition to restrain monopoly pricing.” (Elizabeth Wright, 8/4)
A Drug Priced Out Of Reach In Africa Could Save Lives From A Neglected Killer
When it comes to controlling the AIDS pandemic, Botswana is in many ways a model for the world. Last year, the country became one of the first to achieve ambitious United Nations goals for universal access to timely, high-quality treatment of HIV, doing so years before the United States is projected to reach the same targets. (Patrick Adams and Cameron Nutt, 8/8)
Two Mistakes Investors Make When Investing In Biotechnology Companies
Biotechnology stocks were some of the strongest performing stocks from 2009-2015. Then, the biotech bubble burst and just about every major biotech stock plunged into a private bear market. Since then, biotech stocks have bottomed and are now rallying once again. Valuations and sentiment have been reset which opens the door for higher prices. That said, here are two common mistakes investors make when investing in biotech stocks. (Adam Sarhan, 8/6)
Carl Icahn Knows It's Never Too Late To Derail A Deal
Carl Icahn is late to the party on Cigna Inc.’s intended $54 billion purchase of pharmacy-benefit-management giant Express Scripts Holding Co. His Tuesday letter opposing the transaction comes just weeks before an Aug. 24 shareholder vote on whether to approve it. That will make derailing the deal a tough task for the legendary activist, who owns a modest 0.56 percent of Cigna’s shares. (Max Nisen, 8/7)
Zero-Sales Biotechs May Damage Your Financial Health
China's biotech unicorns are chasing a big prize. Landing it may prove elusive. BeiGene Ltd. raised $903 million in a secondary listing in Hong Kong last week. The company’s market value has swelled to $9.4 billion since its 2016 initial public offering on the Nasdaq, despite the firm being at the “clinical stage”– a euphemism for having zero sales. Competitor Innovent Biologics Inc., which has filed to sell shares in Hong Kong, is another IPO worth watching. (Shuli Ren, 8/7)
China Isn't Yet Ready To Conduct Clinical Trials For The Pharma Industry
China, with its huge population and its position as the second-largest pharmaceutical market in the world, should be poised to become a world leader in clinical trials for new drugs and devices. But it isn’t quite ready for that. Problems with protecting clinical trial participants, inadequate clinical trial infrastructure, and poor transparency make China an unreliable country in which to conduct a clinical trial. As a clinical research professional with more than a decade of global industry experience, I’ve seen clinical trials conducted in many countries but have yet to work with a U.S. company that has opted to conduct a clinical trial in China. (Anne Poli, 8/3)